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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: May 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: build, contrast, bokeh, size, sharpness. Most of my hangable-keepers come from this lens.
A lot of money to spend with all of the bad focus reports. It takes some practice, and I find myself snapping more to make sure I got the area I

I spent weeks reading all of the reports about the focus problems with this lens. I still went ahead and bought it in September 2007. On my 30D, I immediately experienced the focus problems, but I knew what to look for so I didn't spend much time experimenting. Rather than sending it back to B&H and messing with the "I got a defective, bad copy" claims, I decided to send it right to Canon, days after I bought it. I didn't want to give up on it - I wanted this lens, and I wanted it to work right. Canon (Irvine) confirmed my claim that it "mis-focused" (I still don't understand that "backfocus" means). This was very gratifying, and I couldn't wait to get it back. After a seven-day turn around, and about $20 for shipping/insurance, I got the lens back, and I mean the lens I wanted from the beginning. I now have every confidence that my lens works how it's supposed to, but I still need to be careful about depth of field. I still get mis-focused pictures from time to time, but I know it's user error, not lens error. I believe the autofocus works well on my XTi and 30D, but I don't think these cameras are able to "nail it" when I pick a different focus point and shoot wider than f/2. I may not understand this correctly, but I am confident when I use the center focus point, and hopeful on the rest. I'm getting a 5D this week, and I can't wait. In my opinion, the focal length of this lens on a crop camera is too long, narrow and tight. I bought this lens for my future full-frame camera. I'm expecting the auto focus accuracy to be even better, more accurate; even with various focus points selected. I hope I'm right and I hear that I may need different focus screens for the 5D for wider apertures.
If you want this lens, don't give up on it. Send your to Canon for service, with a clear letter about the problem, and get it right. It was well worth it to me. I love this lens. It's my favorite.